Enter the Doorway to the
Realm of Imagination

Bianca used a small cardboard box to create a visual diorama of the door she entered beside the creek.

Inside the cardboard box Bianca created the bright realm of imagination that she entered.

Memet depicts himself coming through the doorway. His companion is perched on his shoulder and he is carrying a special weapon that the companion has given him.

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Kingdom of Imagination

In Australia summer has arrived and the summer solstice is approaching.

This year I have spent a lot of time using guided imagery as a vehicle to take children of all ages into the kingdom of their imagination. It is humbling to see where they go and to harvest rich responses.

The guided imagery we used changed each session over a three week period. The one constant was the Stony Creek in a mountain area of Australia, based on a real place from my childhood.

At the conclusion of each session we explored the ideas that had emerged and discussed what we could do with these ideas. Children considered a numbr of options. Each child completed a visual task prior to attempting to write.

Finally they stepped through a doorway into the kingdom of imagination and wrote stories, many of which were in cartoon and picture book form.

Session One

It is a beautiful summer day and you decide that you cannot stay in this classroom any longer. You slip away quietly and find yourself beside a stony creek. The creek is quiet today and the water is crystal clear. As you sit watching the water scamper over the rocks you see a school of rainbow fish swimming by. They swim gracefully, in formation and you realise that their are words on their colourful bodies. They are telling you something. Stunned, you quickly write down their message.

Session Two

You return to the stony creek and look for the rainbow fish but they are not there today. As you sit on the edge of the creek you pick up a stone and turn it over in your hand. (Each child was given a stone to hold) A voice speaks and you are surprised to discover that the stone has spoken to you. The stone agrees to share its stone memories, to tell you about this ancient place, if you will share memories of your own.

Session Three

This time when you return to the creek the water is singing as it dances down the river road that leads to the ocean. Suddenly you are aware that someone is watching you. A shadowy fairy like figure appears and asks you to go through a doorway. You enter a world that is like nothing you have ever seen before.

Footnote:
Staff also participated in this exercise. Lucy, a student teacher at Preston East spontaneously wrote this delightful short story during session three. The class were absolutely delighted.

The Frog, the Creek and the Boy

It was dark and cold in Lilypad Land. We desperately needed someone to hear our music but who could we choose? We needed someone reliable and trustworthy to take our music and spread it around the world. We all knew that it was the kind of music that everybody needed to hear - lots of harps and flutes - music that would calm and soothe the soul.

It was a fabulous Frank the Frog who had a brainwave. The light-bulb flashed above his head. "I know", he shouted in excitement, "we'll go through the Reflective Door and find someone on the Outside World to spread the word!" and off he hopped.

When Frank opened the door, he jumped onto the bank and looked up at the high, looming mountains. He didn't like coming out of Lilypad Land too much but he knew that this was important. Suddenly, he saw a young boy doing something very strange. He was talking to a rock! "No time to lose" thought Frank, "he'll do" and he hopped over to the boy.

Using his magical frog powers, he managed to send the boy into a trance and he followed him to the Reflective Door. They both jumped into Lilypad Land and the band began to play. And what sweet music it was! All the frogs of Lilypad Land played to their hearts content. The music filtered into the boys mind and stayed there.

Quickly, Frank jumped back through the Door and left him standing by the side of the creek. The boy left his trance but strange, beautiful music filled his head. It was the most perfect sound he had ever heard. "I have to tell someone about this music" he thought and hurried off home to sing to his mum, who sang to her mum, and her dad, and his friend, and her neighbour and so it went on until everyone in the world knew about the music and were very, very calm.

From Lilypad Land, the frogs high-fived - yeah! They had done their job. But what could they play now…?

by Lucy

The Magical Encounter

After talking to my parents I was allowed to go back up to the creek. I looked for the fish but I couldn't find them. I found a strange looking object in the water. I went under the water to bring it out. It was soft and warm and hairy. I wanted to spew up. But then it spoke to me and told me to "Put me down". I fainted and I wasn't found for days. When I finally regained consciousness I almost fainted again because I saw a big spiked ball. I asked "Who and what are you?" The spiked ball said that he was Doc Plunket and that he was going to give me a magical stick to take with me.
Jordan.

Activity

Walk yourself through the stages and undertake some activities in your visual journal before attempting to write.

Create pages in your altered book and consider some genres that you might experiment with. Many of the children I worked with were keen to make picture story books for younger students.

Hopefully some of your will submit your work so that students can see how others respond to similar stimulus.